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A jewel of a bait and tackle shop on the St. Johns River

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Anglers of all persuasions will find all kinds of bait, tackle and more for fishing the St. Johns River at LouAnne's Bait and Tackle House. “We have all kinds of live bait,” says shop owner LouAnne. “We have minnows, shiners, sometimes wild shiners, crickets, red worms, and night crawlers.”

The small but adequate bait and tackle shop is mostly run by LouAnne's two teen age boys. Starr is 16 and Bryse is 14. “I'm just there to supervise,” says Lou Anne. “They take care of everything except ordering. It is all for them, it's their business.”

“We have been here almost a year,” states Starr, I love it.” Bryse chimed in with a quick “me too.”

Don't let their ages fool you, because these two youngsters are outdoorsmen all the way. On a recent visit to the shop Starr was quick to pull a nice bass out for a quick photo shoot. He said they had caught a larger one, but had already ate that one. Bryse quickly pulled out the lure that the fish was caught on and began describing the color and the rigging of the plastic worm. Both boys indicated they like fishing with artificial baits best.

Every day brings new adventures to the proprietors of the Bait and Tackle House. Bryse reminisced about the first day they opened the shop. “I caught a 3- to 4-foot alligator the first day we opened the shop,” said Bryse. Then he and Star told a story of a nuisance gator that was in the area. “We had to get a trapper to come get rid of it,” said Starr. Bryse commented that he helped and showed a picture postcard with him on the back of the gator holding its mouth open.

A visit inside the small shop reveals an unbelievable array of tackle, snacks, and souvenirs. The walls are lined with various types of tackle from hooks to bobbers. When I spotted the Vienna Sausage on the shelf below the Snickers bars I new I was in a fisherman’s place. “The souvenirs,” said Bryse, “are mostly sold to the people that come for the airboat rides.”

Hours are 6 am to 6 pm, except for Sunday when they close at noon. Any time the shop is closed call the number located on the building and someone will come take care of you in short order.

The shad and crappie bite will be hot from mid-December to March so it would be a good time to visit Lou Anne's Bait and Tackle House at the backside of C. S. Lee Park on Hwy 46 near Geneva. It is right next to the Jolly Gator Restaurant.

PS There is always a free cup of coffee available to take the chill off those early mornings.

LouAnne's Bait and Tackle House

4650 E. SR 46,

Geneva Florida, 32732

baitandtackle@yahoo.com

(407) 425 - 2514

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